Series: Charley Chase
Director: Leo McCarey
Producer: Hal Roach
Writer: Charley Chase
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Stars: Charley Chase, Vivien Oakland, Gertrude Astor
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 17 October 1926
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: B-12
Filming dates: June 15-26, 1926
Tell 'Em Nothing
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Charley is a big-shot divorce lawyer who arrives at his office in his expensive car which his wife wants to use to go down town. She balks at home over the phone when he suggests she catches a bus instead. Charley's first client of the day is a 'galloping blonde' (Vivien Oakland) who tells him that she and her husband want a divorce but needs advice on how to do it. He advises her to be caught and photographed in the arms of another man and then proceeds to demonstrate with her in his office just as his wife's bus passes by his window where she witnesses him holding the woman blonde in his arms. Charley gets rid of the blonde and drags a guy into his office quickly but Charley's wife storms in demaning to know where "that blonde wrestler" and then leaves in the blonde girl's car (how did she get the keys?) When the girl sees her car being stolen she grabs a policeman to protest.
Charley then witnesses what appears to be a man strangling a woman in an upper-storey window and runs up to investigate, not realising that whole thing is being staged. It turns out to be the blonde client and her husband, who quickly takes a photo of them together when Charley finds her and tries to comfort her. The husband pretends to be outraged and threates to have Charley in court that day. Charley visits his doctor and tells him he needs to get his wife out of town to avoid going to court, so the doctor tells Charley that his wife ought to go to the country to avoid a breakdown. Meanwhile to make matters worse the blonde and her husband seem to have patched up their differences and reconciled. The blonde comes to Charley's apartment to give him the negative for the photo but he has to think quickly when his wife suddenly enters the room. Charley jumps on the blonde to conceal her from sight but it later turns out that she has broken her ankle in the accident.
The doc suggests that the blonde be put to bed in Charley's apartment. Later, her husband enters the room and finds her in Charley's bed at around the same time Charley's wife telephones him. The blonde answers Charley's phone and that lights the fuse for his wife to head straight for home, by stealing a taxi and pushing the driver into the back seat. A joyful Charley returns to his apartment oblivious to the fact that not only the blonde, but also her husband are in the bedroom. Charley's wife returns home to confront him. Charley finds the blonde in his bed and quickly shoves her underneath it as his wife interrogates him. We are then 'treated' to a long scene where the blonde has a bout of hic-cups under the bed and Charley having to immitate her to avoid detection, with his wife giving him glasses of water. But when both Charley and his wife get up off the bed, it starts to rise up into its natural vertical position against the wall, exposing the blonde underneath it.
Charley repeatedly tried to hook an umbrella onto the rails at the end of the bed to bring it back down whilst his wife reads that causing a sudden scare will snap Charley out of 'his' hic-cups. She gets a gun and fires it behind her back, hitting the blonde under the bed, who crawls wounded into the bathroom. From behind the shower curtain the blonde woman continues her hic-cups which all-but gives Charley away until a door is heard being closed from the next room. The blonde's husband has stumbled into their bed and it lets Charley off the hook when he accuses his wife of having another man in the apartment. Charley forgives her but promises to kill the other man. Behind the door Charley makes violent noises to suggest that he is sorting out the man, who wakes up as his wife and Charley's wife walk into the room and catch Charley hitting the door. The four of them all agree to make up and forget everything that has taken place and it is heading towards an upbeat ending until Charley's wife finds a note on her dressing table from the blonde who tells Charley she wants to meet up with him again tomorrow. The film ends with Charley being thrown through a door by his wife.
It's not easy to pick a best scene from such a bland film, but the award goes to this scene where Charley has to think quickly by hooking the end of his bed with an umbrella before the bed rises into a vertical position up against the wall and thus exposing the woman underneath it. But even that scene wasn't all that great!
• Copyrighted October 26, 1926.
• Not only does the husband enter Charley's apartment without even knocking on the door, but his wife even answers his telephone when it rings!
• The scene where Gertrude Astor climbs down off the train was filmed at the Santa Fe depot.
What the experts say
• "The predictability of the way the story plays out in this film, and the realistic belieavability of it all is just a bit too far fetched at times. That said, the film plods along to the finale without much enthusiasm. Below average." ~ Lord Heath.
Gladstone, the Great Lawyer
The Galloping Blonde
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This page was last updated on: 24 February 2019